Monday, January 27, 2014

Romper Refashion

For refashion week I cut up an old favorite dress of mine. It's so old that I wore it in high school. I still love it but it has a couple of patched up tears on the back and some stains as well. Since I've got about five more weeks until this baby makes her appearance, it felt about time to finally start sewing for her! The rosebud fabric felt just a little too sweet for me though so I added the green stripe piecing to make it more modern and fun. I also sewed the romper up in a 6-12mo size since my babies don't wear anything smaller for very long. I picture her wearing this throughout summer! You get one picture of the romper since the back looks the same as the front and I've got no little model yet to help it look even more adorable.

Here is the dress I started out with...

There was plenty of fabric to work with, even working around the patches and the stains. Since the fabric is thin, I also cut out the lining from the dress and lined the romper with it. I cut off the pretty clear buttons from the front bodice to use with a different project sometime.

Goodbye old dress, hello my summertime baby girl!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Girl on Fire

The theme this week at Project Run & Play is Let's Go to the Movies, one of the themes used back in the season I competed on. Last time I chose one of Drew's favorite movies, Willy Wonka. This time I chose to make a look based off of my favorite movie of 2013, Catching Fire. I walked out of the theater wishing that I could go back in and watch it again. It was great.

There was also really great fashion in the movie. It would be fun to make a look based off of trends in the Capitol, especially the colorful Effie. But I chose to make a look based off of Katniss. Besides the beautiful gowns she wore and the skin tight arena uniform, Katniss wore clothes that were mostly functional and neutral. As she travels through the victory tour, her clothes become more fashionable, but still remains true to her aesthetic. In the picture below on the right you can see where I drew my inspiration for my tunic with the leather sleeves and hip pieces.

Last week I mentioned that I am not spending any money on fabric, notions, etc, at this time. I have so much money invested in fabric that just sits in my closets and drawers. Since we are planning a big move in the summer I have to decide what to do with my hoard and the last thing I want to do is add to it! So to make this look with what I had on hand I went through my tub of clothes meant to be refashioned. Meaning, I don't wear it (maybe have never worn it) but someday I could possibly turn it into something else.

I shared some of my thoughts on refashioning back in this post, but basically despite some design challenges it presents, refashioning or upcycling is very rewarding for me. First up I turned this Old Navy clearance dress I've had for probably four years (and wore zero times) into a little tunic. The upper waist gathering in the dress fell perfectly at her hips, then I gathered in the neckline, cut off the sleeves, brought in the side seams a bunch, and cut it short. To make the sleeves and hip pieces I used some brown vinyl I had in my stash then just stitched lines across the pieces to give them a quilted look.

Next up are her black look-like-leather leggings. I bought these for me for $5 online thinking that I could wear them because they are called Super Stretch Treggings and the fabric is only treated to look like leather. If you follow me on instagram (you can if you like, I am @chelisepatterson), then you might know that I am pregnant. Largely pregnant, in fact. Only about six weeks left to go! After my third pregnancy you'd think I'd learn that I can't fit into my old size pants/shorts for at least 6-9 months after having baby. So of course I tried pulling up these "stretchy" pants and they didn't make it past my butt. Ah well, they were only $5. And after about 20 minutes they looked so dang cute on Drew!

I used my regular leggings pattern but cut more width around the leg because the fabric was not as super stretchy as it claimed to be (my butt will attest to that). I cut the pieces from the bottom of the pant leg to keep the hem, quickly sewed up the seams, cut off the stretchy waistband, downsized it, then attached it back on to the new pants. They fit her like a glove. I'm sure this won't be the last time I'll be jealous of how cute everything looks on her!

Some more views of my Girl on Fire...

Next week the actual challenge is refashioning. I sort of combined the two challenges in one this week, but I do have something else in mind for next week with another dress I found in my old clothes tub. And this time it will be for the new soon-to-arrive girl in our family!

I would have loved to have another boy to steal my heart the way my son has, but having another girl to sew for is a real dream come true for me!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter's Night dress

I'm sewing along with another season of Project Run & Play that starts today and the first challenge is a Winter Wonderland theme. I remember the very first time I experienced a real winter with snow when my husband started medical school in Iowa City many years ago. Growing up in Phoenix it's not like I had never seen snow in my life, but I had never experienced looking out the front window of my home at a peaceful, fluffy, evening snowfall. It seemed magical to me. The days after of brown slush and ice... not so magical. But I get it. I get "Winter Wonderland".

Now that we have been living back in the Valley of the Sun, winter is full of beautiful sun and fresh outdoors air. It's the time of year we are able to actually be outside and not melt. We do own jackets and long sleeves and I think a pair of thin mittens at the bottom of our dress up box, but most of the time those are unnecessary. My look for this theme needed to be something that Drew could wear here in our kind of winter, but I wanted to evoke the feeling of a peaceful "real" winter's night.

And maybe most importantly with this challenge (and with each challenge I actually finish in this season of PR&P) I am refusing to spend even a penny on any of my looks. Not so much as a button, zipper, or spool of thread. We are preparing for a cross-country move this summer (to Iowa City again of all places) and I either need to toss out my hoards of fabric or put them to use. So with my goal to evoke a winter's night feel and only using what I had on hand, I came up with this raglan chiffon number.

I was so tempted to run to Joann's to buy a spool of gray thread for all the topstitching on the dress since my spool of gray was just about gone, but NO. Not a penny. I had to use a turquoise thread that definitely doesn't match the royal blue chiffon, but guess what... you can't even tell. And we all know one spool of gray thread turns into a bag of freshly cut fabric, several cards of buttons, a couple bottles of craft paint, and who-knows-what from a place like Joanns. I have a problem.

This dress is very loved and has been worn much in its short existence. Next winter we will actually be in a Winter Wonderland, but for now I am enjoying every sunny minute Phoenix has to give.